Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/21

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11
THE READING-CLUB.

Round about the room he gambolled,
Peeping through the helmet bars;
Now he leaped, and now he ambled,
Like a Cupid mocking Mars.
Then he stayed his merry prancing,
And of Alva's knees caught hold,
Where a ray of sunlight glancing
Turned his sunny curls to gold.

Swift the mother, sorely frightened,
Strove to take the cherub wild;
But the duke's stern features lightened
As he kept her from the child;
And he drank the pretty prattle—
For the baby knew no fear—
Till his eye, so fierce in battle,
Softened with a pearly tear.

For a babe arose before him
In fair Spain, ere war's alarms,—
Thus his father's sword upbore him.
Alva caught the boy in arms,
And, the pretty forehead baring,
Cried, "A kiss!" The child obeyed;
Then unto those men despairing
Alva said, "Your ransom's paid."

W. R. Rose, in Texas Siftings.

RE-ENLISTED.

Oh did you see him in the street, dressed up in army blue,
When drums and trumpets into town their storm of music threw,—
A louder tune than all the winds could muster in the air,—
The Rebel winds, that tried so hard our flag in strips to tear?

You didn't mind him? Oh, you looked beyond him, then, perhaps.
To see the mounted officers rigged out with trooper caps,
And shiny clothes, and sashes, and epaulets and all.
It wasn't for such things as these he heard his country call.